Note: DAS has rebranded to ".bit". Their new website is did.id.
The Nervos Network is a decentralised ecosystem consisting of both L1 and L2 solutions, with the native token CKB. While the L1 layer is space-limited with a focus on security and decentralisation, the is L2 meant for scalability and dApps. DeAccount Limited has pioneered perhaps one of the first decentralised account systems, called DAS, built on Nervos L2 as a smart contract.
DAS offers an open-source and decentralised approach to digital accounting systems; as opposed to a centralised entity controlling this. Their website is https://da.systems.
Sound a bit confusing? Let’s use a few examples.
Think about your bank account, your social media accounts (i.e. Reddit, Facebook, Instagram), or your Google account. Virtually all online systems are centralised, and each of these services allow you to create an account on their platform, which they essentially have complete control over.
DAS, on the other hand, uses Nervos Network as a platform on which it exists as a dApp (decentralised app), and uses its native CKB tokens to allow users to secure different account names. Once a wallet claims a DAS account, it can control and operate it as the wallet owner pleases.
Pretty neat right? It’s a fully-fledged secure account system but no one controls it and no one’s account can be muted or censored or disabled. As you can imagine, the potential of this is huge. The account names are known in the format of <account_name>.bit.
How do you get a .bit account?
You will need about $10-20 worth of CKB on portal wallet, or a select few other cryptocurrencies to claim an account. As of writing this article, GOGO DAS and DAS(two of the registrars) accepts ETH, TRX, CKB and BNB payments, while DeName (another registrar) supports TRC20-USDT, CKB and Alipay. When using the Alipay option you’re essentially sending fiat money to the registrar and in return they are using their cryptocurrency balance for you.
For simplicity sake and given that this dApp lives on the Nervos Network, let’s use CKB to secure the account using DAS or GOGO DAS. DeName’s link seems to be broken so I cannot recommend it.
First, you will need to install Metamask on your phone or on your PC as a browser extension. Next, head to ckb.pw (Portal Wallet) and connect your wallet to the website. Using your Metamask credentials, Portal Wallet will show you your public CKB address to which you can deposit CKB to from your exchange or another wallet. Deposit around $20 worth of CKB for good measure.
After you see your CKB balance, head over to da.systems. If you’re using a computer, this will be on the browser your Metamask extension is installed on. If you’re on your phone, use the Metamask app’s built-in browser. Once on the website, click on “Register | Manage” and then select “DAS”. Connect to your Metamask wallet when it prompts you to.
Now you can register whatever name you desire, as long as it’s not taken. You can use emojis. There’s a few other restrictions as well, you can read the full details on their website. The cost of this is generally $10 equivalent in CKB; $5 non-refundable for claiming the domain, and $5 deposit for 1 years registration (you can pay for more years at higher costs). If you ever sell or the domain expires, you get this deposit credited back.
Once you choose a name and pay for it, you’re done! Sit back for 5 minutes as the DAS will confirm that the account has been tied to your Nervos wallet.
Managing your .bit account
Once there are enough confirmations on the blockchain, congrats! You now own a decentralised .bit account.
With this, you also get access to a “.bit.cc” website address. For example, I own https://gabenewell.bit.cc/ as I registered the name gabenewell (heh) on DAS. The site looks something like this by default:
The site will show what other NFTs (the NFTs are essentially the accounts) the wallet also owns. You can add custom records to the Crypto Address, Profile, and the custom tab which will display on the website as well. You can also setup the website to redirect to another website. These records you can add are known as parsing records.
You also can add specific custom parsing records which the dApps know the meaning of; for example there’s one that lets you redirect the .bit.cc website to another website. I've setup my thenervosnetwork.bit.cc to redirect to the official nervos.org, as an example. A full list of custom parsing records can be found here: https://github.com/DeAccountSystems/bit.cc.
Buying and selling .bit accounts
Yup that’s right, you can buy and sell .bit accounts as well! On GOGO DAS or DAS, there is a marketplace tab which will take you to bestdas.com, which is the marketplace for buying and selling .bit accounts.
Before you can buy or sell on here, you will need to deposit at least 350 CKB to your unique BESTDAS wallet; this is different to your portal wallet address (you still own this address with your private key). Once you do this, you can list a .bit account where 201 CKB will be frozen. If you delist or the .bit account sells, this will be returned to you. Play around with it to get a good feel for it.
Although there isn’t much utility to DAS (other than getting a cool .bit.cc website), this is still very early days for the platform and there’s so much potential utility for a system like this. As more and more users learn about the Nervos Network, more and more .bit accounts will be snatched up; and the prices of these will likely increase a lot.
If you own some CKB, then go ahead and claim your own .bit account. Who knows, maybe it’ll be worth something substantial some day!